Game Time: 730pm
TV/Radio: CSN & WGN720
Missing the playoffs again: Defending Big D
Sweet sassy molassy, real honest-to-god NHL caliber hockey started last night and continues with the Blackhawks making their 2011-2012 debut against the Dallas Stars tonight in Big D.
The Blackhawks come into the season with a revamped blueline after jettisoning undervalued puckmover and salary albatross Brian Campbell to Florida and picking up Steve Montador, Sami Lepisto & Sean O’Donnell. The Hawks also flipped their fourth line crew, running with whatever combination of Rusty Olesz, Jamal Mayers, Dan Carcillo & Ben Smith that seems to float Q’s boat that day.
The Hawks are dealing with a couple injuries to start off the season. First up is Davey Bolland, who is suffering from the all too specific “upper body injury.” Q & Crew deny that Bolland is having any back or concussion related issues, but Tim Sassone over at the Herald feels confident that Bolly is having a recurrence of Old Man Back. Next is Benny Smith, who we all know got clobbered in the noggin by Brendan “NO RELATION” Smith of Scum during a preseason tilt. He had skated a practice with the team a few days ago, but has been shut down since. Finally, there’s Viktor Stalberg, suffering from some kind of knee fuckupery. Most likely it is just a strain/sprain, but he’s on IR to start the season.
The Hawks called up Brandon Pirri to center the checking line with Taters & Master of the 45 foot wrister, Bryan Bickell. The top line will feature Jonathan Toews centering Patrick Sharp, making his return from an emergency appendectomy, and 18 year old rookie Brandon Saad. The second line showcases the experiment of Patrick Kane at center, which to my great surprise, looked like it worked out well in preseason. Q will have to constantly protect Kane from playing against top offensive threats though, so keep an eye on the matchups. On Kaner’s wings will be Marian Hossa & Andrew Burnette.
The expectation is for the Hawks to dress seven defensemen. Rogers seems to think that Scott is going to dress instead of Steve Montador. I’ll believe that one when I see it. Although the fact that Montador was drilling with Scott as his partner can’t be a good sign. I would expect to see Keith, Leddy, Seabrook, Hjammer, Lepisto, O’Donnell & Montador be the seven defensemen. There is no good reason to dress Scott if all seven of those guys are even 30% healthy.
Out for Dallas is former Cup-winning Blackhawks Adam Burish, Nick Grossman & Adam Pardy. The expected lines according to Defending Big D:
Notable items from the expected Dallas lineup is notable dipshit Steve Ott being in the lineup. The top line of Brendan Morrow, Mike Ribeiro & Michael Ryder should be a handful. Also, keep an eye on Jamie Benn, who is totally copying Patrick Kane and moving to center the second line to start the season.
The Hawks possession game should be able to run amok in the Dallas zone with the three pairs of compost they call defensemen. Kari Lehtonen regained some quality form last season with the Stars, but I don’t expect him to nab a 50-shot shutout against us. *waits for 50-shot shutout tonight*
The Hawks should be able to pull out a victory tonight. Either way, I’m just glad REAL hockey is finally back in our lives. We can all rejoice at that.
Until Hjammer clears a puck over the glass of course.
LET’S GO HAWKS!